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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Pet Food Recall Expands to Rice Protein...

If there ever was a silver lining to a bad situation, I would have to say that the "Pet Food Recall(s) of 2007" would have to have one.

Rice protein from China has now been found to contain the contaminant melamine. Another imported food product from China, the FDA is finding itself scrambling for information once again.

Hill's Science Diet has already issued a statement that the rice protein products that they use do not come from the same source as the contaminated product does. However, Natural Balance has several products that are part of the latest recall. This product is not the same as the Natural Life vegetarian product that Menu Foods added to their list yesterday.

As the trail of the rice protein is followed, be assured that more pet food stuffs will be added to the enormously long list of recalled pet foods.

The FDA seems to have hit a roadblock in their investigations since China will not allow FDA inspectors to go investigate the manufacturing facilities that are producing the tainted products. The FDA inspectors are unable to get Visas to China because the government hasn't "invited" them to come. With China dragging its uncooperative feet in this food health crisis, it appears that maybe someone at the FDA may have run across some information which led to the testing of rice proteins.

Both ingredients were imported from China, though by different companies and from different manufacturers.

The FDA on Wednesday began reviewing and sampling all rice protein concentrate imported from China, much as the agency has been doing for wheat gluten, Rogers said.


This news story also shares some interesting information about why melamine would be found in wheat gluten and rice protein:

The Las Vegas importer of the contaminated Chinese wheat gluten, ChemNutra Inc., that led to the original pet food recall has suggested that spiking a product with melamine can make it to appear to be richer in protein during tests, thus increasing its value.


Economics can certainly be a strong motivator for many.


But if economics isn't the motivation behind all of this mess then I can only conjure up one other hypothesis for why their products are contaminated.

I don't know about you, but when I think of big food manufacturing companies I think of big stainless steel vats and gas fueled flames. You know, shiny equipment that's squeaky clean. However, this may not be the case in parts of China.

It's possible that the products have been tainted by the "microwave effect" with huge melamine laden plastic vats receiving extremely hot products into their bowels. The heat and moisture combines with the plastics used in the processing of the foods and therefore leeches chemicals into the food stuffs.

I envision something similar to overheating your leftover pizza on a styrofoam plate.

One can't be extracted from the other.

*yuck*


Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the "silver lining".

Well, the best thing about all of this is...

That FDA officials are now alert to ~something~ wrong in the Chinese food manufacturing process. And something must have sent up a red flag for them to start testing rice protein. Something that we don't yet know about.

So now I would have to logically conclude that (hopefully at least) all food imports from China will be more thoroughly tested.

Especially the human food stuffs.

Next big question:

How will all of this affect the American and Chinese political and economic relations?


Fortune cookie anyone?


later...


***UPDATE***

Blue Buffalo Company Announces Voluntary Recall of One Production Run of Spa Select Kitten Dry Food


Royal Canin has been affected by the rice protein recall.

April 19, 2007

Dear Royal Canin USA Customer,

It is with sincere regret that I inform you of a new and unfortunate development with some of our pet food products.

Although we have no confirmed cases of illness in pets, we have decided to voluntarily remove the following dry pet food products that contain rice protein concentrate due to the presence of a melamine derivative.

ROYAL CANIN SENSIBLE CHOICE® (available in pet specialty stores nationwide)

- Chicken Meal & Rice Formula Senior DRY DOG FOOD
- Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Puppy DRY DOG FOOD
- Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Adult DRY DOG FOOD
- Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Senior DRY DOG FOOD
- Rice & Catfish Meal Formula Adult DRY DOG FOOD

ROYAL CANIN VETERINARY DIET™ (available only in veterinary clinics)

- Canine Early Cardiac EC 22™
- Canine Skin Support SS21™
- Feline Hypoallergenic HP23™

ALL PRODUCTS WITH AN EXPIRATION DATE OF APRIL 19TH, 2008 ARE MADE WITHOUT CHINESE SOURCED VEGETABLE PROTEINS AND ARE SAFE.

We are taking this proactive stance to voluntarily recall these products to avoid any confusion for our customers about which Royal Canin USA products are safe and which products may be affected.

Pet owners should immediately stop feeding their pets the Royal Canin USA dry pet food products listed above. Pet owners should consult with a veterinarian if they are concerned about the health of their pet. No other Royal Canin diets are affected by this recall and CONTINUE TO BE safe for pets to eat.

In addition, Royal Canin USA will no longer use any Chinese suppliers for any of our vegetable proteins.

This decision to recall some of our dry pet food products is driven by our philosophy that the “Pet Comes First”. The safety and nutritional quality of our pet food is Royal Canin USA’s top priority. Pet owners who have questions about this recall and other Royal Canin USA products should call (800) 513-0041.

On behalf of the entire Royal Canin family, our hearts go out to the pet owners and everyone in the pet community who have been affected by all of the recent recalls. We are as passionate about the health and happiness of our customers’ pets as we are of our own, so we are committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure this never happens again.

Sincerely,

Olivier Amice
President and CEO
Royal Canin USA






Royal Canin States: We're Not Involved...

The Pet Food Recall Expands... Again.

FDA Announces: Melamine in Tainted Pet Foods...

Menu Foods Posts FAQ's Page...

Pet Food Recall...

Still Looking for Answers on the 2007 Pet Food Recall...

Menu Foods Pet Food Recall Update

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